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Lexus RX 300



  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Remove the battery connections and clean and burnish the battery posts and connectors.

    It is not unusual that the connections are good enough for low current flow but not enough for the high level of flow required by the starter motor.
  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    "All the initial lights comes up which means there is nothing wrong with the battery (hopefully) but it just gives a kind of choking noise after that."

    The power required to run the lights, etc is much, much lower than what is required to turn a starter motor. It is entirely likely there is enough battery voltage to allow instrumentation and lights to work, but not enough amperage to crank a motor. You might be describing a battery failure. I'm not sure about the choking noise.

    Does the starter turn the motor freely at a normal speed?

    I would try jumping it with a known good battery, preferably an idling motor. Connect the cables carefully. The tow truck should be able to do this. If it starts from a jump, you may want to consider replacing the battery.

    Let us know how it goes.
  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    Actually, WWest is right to check the corrosion on the terminals first. Any auto parts store (or Walmart) sells tools to do this yourself if you want, and it needs to be done on a regular basis.

    Be careful not to get the corrosion (or anything from the battery) on yourself or other parts of the car. When it's not freezing out, you can use products to thoroughly clean and protect the terminals. The cleaning products require thorough rinsing with a hose, so skip those for now.

    For now, just remove the cable clamps by loosening the bolt, then use a screwdriver to widen the clamp to loosen it's grip (and a little wiggling) and use a rough wire brush (battery brush) to clean off corrosion, then re-seat the cables tightly. Be careful around the connections and cables. Don't drop any tools where they can touch both terminals (that would be really bad) and don't get any stuff on you or other parts of the car. It's no surprise battery corrosion is corrosive and will burn through paint and/or cause stains.
  • Thanks wwest and la4mead for the prompt reply. What exactly is happening is the lights comes on as soon as I turn the key, but the lights stays on instead of going off (the vehicle is not with me but with my father who is reporting over phone :D )

    My dad also switched on the A/C with fan in full blast and everything was ok it seems (if this piece of info will help).

    My only concern is will the lights (all the lights) stay on if there is something wrong with the battery?

    I guess I will have to leave early from work to check the battery connections.
  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    ..."My only concern is will the lights (all the lights) stay on if there is something wrong with the battery?..."

    With the motor running or does the motor start and the warning lights stay on? If so, that's a different story.

    If the starter motor won't start the engine, then I'd check the battery cables and/or if it starts from a jump.

    P.S. The blower, headlights, horn, etc. all draw much less power than the starter. Blower working doesn't indicate a battery or connection that will carry the amperage needed to run the starter.
  • ..?With the motor running or does the motor start and the warning lights stay on? If so, that's a different story. ?

    No the motor doesn't start. Just the whirring/clanking noise (according to my dad) when the key is turned all the way.

    Yes, the only option is to check the battery and jump start if required before calling in the towing company.

    Thanks once again. Will keep you all updated.
  • rugmankcrugmankc Posts: 133
    How old is the battery. Around four or more it is probably low. If it starts briefly but shuts off right away (your choking sound) spray some wd40 on the throttle linkage and rev the engine a little if it starts. I had that problem on mine last winter from road salt. Although, I had to eventually clean the throttle body. My mechanic did that.

    Hopefully you got it jumped and running and only a new battery needed. I change my batteries every 4 years no matter what. Hate to get stuck.

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..just the whiffing/clanking noise.."

    "Whirring" would generally mean the starter motor bendix gear is not engaging the flywheel gear teeth.

    "Clanking"...or Clicking/"ticking"...??

    No explanation for clanking but clicking would mean poor battery connections of low battery.
  • txgal1txgal1 Posts: 14
    I too have the RX300, 2001 model and am at 118K miles. My check engine light and VSC light came on. I went to Auto Zone where they do free diagnostics. Got the PO174 code for bank 2. I changed the bank 2 sensor and got 30 miles and the same lights came on again. I checked hoses for leaks and don't see any. I think I should have changed the Mass Air Flow sensor instead. Now a couple hundred dollars later with the same problem, wonder if anyone else has a suggestion before I try changing out the MAF sensor.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Which bank 2 sensor did you change..??

    Whenever you change a sensor or servomotor/sensor you should always disconnect the battery for 10-15 minutes to force the engine/transaxle ECU to more quickly "re-learn" the new sensor tolerances.
  • txgal1txgal1 Posts: 14
    I changed the air, fuel sensor for bank 2. There is a bank 1 on one side and bank 2 on the other. I had a mechanic install it and when we picked up the car, the check engine lights were off for about 30 miles. I don't know whether he disconnected the battery or how he reset the computer. I only know the lights were off for 30 miles after we left the shop. Should I try disconnecting the battery??? I also visually looked at the mass air fuel sensor and one side of the thin filament is clean and the other side appears to have carbon build up. Do you know if there is any way to try to clean the MAF to see if that is the problem?? Should I try disconnecting the battery? Thanks for any help I can get.
  • rugmankcrugmankc Posts: 133
    I looked for loose hoses, but hard to do with the low temps we have been having and my work schedule lately. Did have time to run by my mechanic on way home one day and the computer said low coolant temp. Didn't ask about hoses, forgot. May be a thermostat. My heat gauge does seem lower than normal lately. I'll have to take it in maybe Thursday if I can't find anything loose. No sensor codes came up. I think there is a way to reset CE lights without disconnecting battery. There is an EFI fuse under hood it may be #13. Not sure. Remember reading something about that. That would be easier and may not require radio and clock resets.

  • pschiffepschiffe Posts: 373
    I've cleaned my MAF with an aerosol product called Kwik-Kleen contact & circuit board cleaner. Worked well, I'm told dealer will only replace the MAF, not clean it. I believe I've heard carburetor cleaner could also be used.

    Pete :)

  • RathaRatha Posts: 4
    Hi all, s.o told me that highlander is better than RX300 interm of gas saving, transmission problem, driving stability.... is that true? :confuse: thanks b4 hand for your reply. Ratha
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Not true up until "today".

    The HL with 3rd row seat capability outweighs the RX.

    The latest HL is now available with a 187HP I4 but not with F/awd.

    On the other hand the Venza (same weight as the HL) can be purchased with the new I4 AND F/awd.


    If you're not in a great hurry I suspect the new I4 will soon be available with DFI.


    All Toyota and Lexus FWD and F/awd vehicles still have the 1-2 second "re-acceleration" downshift delay/hesitation. But now being partially overcome by some predictive firmware added to the transaxle upshift logic. The fallacy is that this feature cannot work unless the driver is aware, upon a lift-throttle event, of their next motion on the gas pedal.

    The Mazda CX-7 might be a good alternative to the Venza if you mill the engine head to get the 12:1 compression ration common for a DFI engine and "wire" the turbo wastegate fully open.
  • dlsmith1dlsmith1 Posts: 2
    I have a 2002 rx300 with 57,000 miles ( original owner) noticed a whinning noise on cold days. Took it to Lexus dealership today. They say I should replace accessories belts ($250) and timing belt also for a total of $650.00. Visual inspection he says the belts are tight but they are probably hard from age which is causing the noise. Didn't show cracks on the surface. Should I replace and also should I go ahead and replace timing belt? Is this a good price? Additional could it be anything else ie powersteering low or dirty fluid causing the noise. Notice no difference in driving so far. Thanks
  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    try the belt conditioner spray from Autozone. Cost 2 bucks.
    If that helps, it does indicate that the belts are the cause.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    My '01 RX300 now has ~75,000 miles and none of the belts have been replaced and I don't expect to do so until one breaks.
  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    >and I don't expect to do so until one breaks.

    Not the best advice I would offer someone, that is unless I own a towing service and want to build up a customer base who are stranded on the side of the highway.
    Change the belts if visually they have cracks and look dried up.
  • pschiffepschiffe Posts: 373
    I agree, try the aerosol belt dressing, works wonders for squealing belts. Lexus recommends replacement of the timing belt at 90K miles, I don't see any reason to do it sooner!

    Pete :)
  • rugmankcrugmankc Posts: 133

    Don't replace the timing belt, it should go to 120k or beyond. My 2002 is at 120k now and I will probably do it just to be safe. Forget the dealer, find a good local mechanic thru referrals, if necessary, and cut those bills in half. When you do the the timing belt do the water pump also.

    I would say it is the belt, mine did the same thing. If I remember correctly, the spray didn't help. But I would at least try it first, nothing to lose.

    FYI: I do a lot of highway miles , but this vehicle has been superb thru the 120k. Also, anyone looking for new tires, try the Michelin LTX/MS. I just put my second set on after 80k with at least 5k left. The ride is superb on them. Pricey even thru Tire Rack. But, at 80k+ longevity, well worth it.

  • dlsmith1dlsmith1 Posts: 2
    Thank you both so much. I did replace the drive belts yesterday. Prior to getting your message. I found a guy in Rockville MD LXT automative. Former (16years) diagiontics manger for a Lexus dealership. Paid half the price. Found him on a lexus web chat. Thanks again for the advice. Just bought tires hope not to have to do it again soon (smile). But will also keep the water pump advice in mind.
  • rugmankcrugmankc Posts: 133
    Enjoy your RX

  • toddio2toddio2 Posts: 2
    I just purchased the above. The previous owner drove it through an automatic car wash listening to the radio. Ripped it right off. I could get some radio but not much. I purchased a new OEM power antenna mast, disassembled the broken pieces (not much left but a bushing) and re inserted the power cable into the motor successfully. There is no antenna cable female end to connect to the male connector on the power antenna assembly. There is a power clip to the assembly and grounding machine screws, but no antenna cable back to the dash. Am I missing something?
    I am grateful for whatever response I get.
    Thank you.
  • Does this really need to be changed at 60,000 miles and can you use standard aftermarket LSD oil?
  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    Well, do you really want to take any chances with the LSD? Clean fluid is cheap insurance. In my experience, the RX does beat up on all it's lubricants and fluids, and it's a good idea to change to fresh stuff by 60K. Use the recommended fluid, regardless of where you buy it and where you have it done. It doesn't have to be Toyota brand, but must be the same type (see owners manual?). Napa might have it or get it, but make sure it's the right type and not for generic applications. Places like AutoZone may only carry generic types.

    Mine doesn't have RWD or LSD, so I haven't changed mine. But I can't imagine it's very hard to do, and would probably do it myself.

    Are you changing the tranny fluid and PS fluid, too? Vehicles like the RX, and the RX 300 in particular, run fluids "hot" and the fluids break down and no longer efficiently work, and lots of wear results.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Only the '99 and '01 had an option for a rear LSD and if you only have 60,000 miles on one of those...

    The RX300's and (maybe) the RX350's have a VC, Viscous Clutch or Coupling, supposedly to distribute engine torque to the rear with semi-continous front wheelspin/slip.

    For '01 and after TC, Traction Control, is used to make the VC pretty much totally non-functional so it was dropped entirely for the RX330 product run. As to the RX350 Lexus marketing materials state that it has a VC again but the factory service/shop manuals do not bare this out.

    In any case the VC fluid is hermetically sealed within the clutch case and cannot be serviced. If you're asking about the PTO lubricating fluid in which the VC runs then there is NEVER a need for changing that fluid, as indicated in your owners manual, since there is no stress within the PTO that would warrant same.

    I now have ~75,000 miles on my '01 F/awd RX300 and nothing has been done under the factory recommended scheduled maintenance requirments other than oil and filter, air and oil, changes.

    In order to test the functionality of the VC in my '01 on a 4 wheel dyno I had to disable TC and even with than no more than 25% of the engine torque was routed to the rear driveline.

    Which is probably why the 2010 RX350 has now adopted the more functional F/awd system the Ford Escape/Marinerand the Mazda Tribute/CX-7.
  • txgal1txgal1 Posts: 14
    I bought an "01 RX300. It has 120,000 miles now. Don't know what has been changed except a few sensors. Should I be changing the fluids you are talking about and what are they? Appreciate your reply
  • rugmankcrugmankc Posts: 133
    I have a 2002 RX300 with 126k

    I want to do the timing belt and water pump.

    It runs great, so is there anything I should have them do while things are apart. For example: starter, alternator.

    What is the mileage most of you are getting on those two items?

    I am not worried about plugs and tune up yet since it runs fine.

  • rugmankcrugmankc Posts: 133
    This issue is resolved!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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